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Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 12

November 13, 2011

Apologies for the delay, my friends, but here I am again to continue this magical journey through the depths of first-time-writer’s Hell. Now, where did I leave off? Oh, yeah…

12. BALANCING

Right, so, last chapter Edward and Bella were sitting in Edward’s car, in Bella’s driveway, up until the moment when Bella’s dad drove up, with another car coming along with him, carrying Jacob and his dad, Billy. Edward tears off before anybody really notices. All except for Billy. And here we are.

“This is a surprise,” Charlie was saying.
“It’s been too long,” Billy answered. “I hope it’s not a bad time.” His dark eyes flashed up to me again, their expression unreadable.

I don’t think you need to read eyes in order to read body language. As was expressed by the last couple of sentences in the last chapter, it seemed like Billy noticed Edward, and he didn’t seem pleased. Remember, this is also the man who’s been telling his son that their tribe is a bunch of werewolves, and the Cullens are a bunch of vampires. I’m pretty positive Billy’s body language says, “Hey. You’re getting into trouble. Knock it off.”

Billy made a face at his son. “And, of course, Jacob was anxious to see Bella again,” he added. Jacob scowled and ducked his head while I fought back a surge of remorse. Maybe I’d been too convincing on the beach.

Oh, sure, NOW you’re starting to feel bad. Of course it only ever happens when it comes to bite you in the ass, doesn’t it?

“Are you hungry?” I asked, turning toward the kitchen. I was eager to escape Billy’s searching gaze.
“Naw, we ate just before we came,” Jacob answered.
“How about you, Charlie?” I called over my shoulder as I fled around the corner.
“Sure,” he replied, his voice moving in the direction of the front room and the TV.

Wait a minute, there’s a problem with all of this here. What was it Bella mentioned back in chapter 1? Oh, yeah…

“Mom’s fine. It’s good to see you, too, Dad.” I wasn’t allowed to call him Charlie to his face.

Huh. And yet here you’ve just called him Charlie. He seemed pretty cool with it, too. Is this some kind of a weird mistake? Maybe nobody was thinking to hard about it at that moment in time. Maybe it just slipped out of Bella’s mouth, and maybe Charlie was just thrilled to have company. Or maybe it’s because Bella was “fleeing around the corner” that it doesn’t quite count as “calling him Charlie to his face”. I’m not sure, I can’t really tell.

As Bella cooks, Jacob follows, and they talk about how she was hanging out with Edward. Jacob laughs and realizes his dad is being goofy and superstitious.

“You don’t think he’d say anything to Charlie?” I couldn’t help asking, the words coming out in a low rush.
Jacob stared at me for a moment, and I couldn’t read the expression in his dark eyes.

Wow, you’re really sucking at the whole reading eyes thing, aren’t you? Why don’t you try reading facial expressions or body language for a change? Is it not obvious by his temporary silence that Jacob’s a bit bothered by your asking in some way? You flirted him into having a crush on you, and now here he is in your home having to listen to you talk about another boy whom you’re obviously having a hard time controlling your gushing over. How do you THINK that’s gonna make him feel, huh? Stop trying to read eyes already, you’re blowing it.

They all spend the evening in the living room together. Jacob and dad leave. Bella’s dad stops her and talks to her a bit, wonders why she didn’t ask Mike to the dance.

“Oh yeah,” he muttered. The he smiled at me apologetically. “So I guess it’s good you’ll be gone Saturday… I’ve made plans to go fishing with the guys from the station. The weather’s supposed to be real warm. …

Oh! Well isn’t THAT convenient! The very day Bella needs to come up with some excuse so that her dad doesn’t really know where she is or who she’s with, her dad suddenly has to be busy that exact same day. Glad to know there won’t be any conflict or repercussions to worry about. Wouldn’t want any drama or tension in this story. It’s much easier to swallow this way.

Bella sleeps. She wakes up. Edward picks her up to take her to school again.

I didn’t hesitate this time, climbing in the passenger side quickly, the sooner to see his face. He grinned his crooked smile at me, stopping my breath and my heart. I couldn’t imagine how an angel could be any more glorious. There was nothing about him that could be improved upon.

I can think of a few things I’d improve. First, I’d give him a pulse so that he would have a higher body temperature, something I happen to like when holding a man close. Secondly, I’d ask that he have courtesy for my personal privacy, whether it’s overhearing things I’m saying to other people or reading people’s thoughts in order to learn more about me. I’d also make him stop manipulating me and my decisions by using crafty words and flirty gestures. But I guess not everybody is concerned with such changes.

He wanted to know about people today: more about Renee, her hobbies, what we’d done in our free time together. And then the one grandmother I’d known, my few school friends – embarrassing me when he asked about boys I’d dated.

And guess how many of those things we actually get to learn about? Just one – the boys thing. Which is still basically like learning nothing, because she apparently was never interested in anybody before ever. But just like the times previously where we heard about Edward asking Bella all kinds of questions, all we ever get to hear about are the questions, but never the answers. It’s incredibly unfulfilling.

Edward realizes he should have let Bella drive to school that day, since he and his sister Alice would be leaving after lunch.

He frowned at me impatiently. “I’m not going to make you walk home. We’ll go get your truck and leave it here for you.”
“I don’t have my key with me,” I sighed. “I really don’t mind walking.” What I minded was losing my time with him.
He shook his head. “Your truck will be here, and the key will be in the ignition – unless you’re afraid someone might steal it.” He laughed at the thought.
“All right,” I agreed, pursing my lips. I was pretty sure my key was in the pocket of a pair of jeans I wore Wednesday, under a pile of clothes in the laundry room. Even if he broke into my house, or whatever he was planning, he’d never find it. He seemed to feel the challenge in my consent. He smirked, overconfident.

Whoa, okay there. This just gets increasingly weirder and weirder. So, Edward insists. Bella barely tries to convince him she’d be fine walking. Then she agrees fairly casually. It sounds as though she’s totally cool with the Cullens driving her truck (which they’ve done once before already), and is even more cool with the idea of the Cullens breaking into her house and rooting through her home and, most specifically, her dirty laundry in order to find a key – a very small item in the grand scheme of things, might I add.

Oh, and it’s skipping ahead a few pages but, yeah, he delivers the truck with the key. And Bella thinks very little of it. She’s hardly phased by it. She wonders if she’d forgotten she’d left the key hanging in a more obvious place. But, hello, excuse me you dolt, but that still means that he BROKE INTO YOUR HOUSE. Why is this okay? Just… Why is this okay?

Edward is planning on hunting tonight, that way he won’t be hungry for Bella the next day. They talk more about their plans.

“Will Charlie be there?”
“No, he’s fishing tomorrow.” I beamed at the memory of how conveniently things had worked out.

Hey! Hey, book! Just because you acknowledge the fact that your writing appears too terribly convenient to be true doesn’t mean that it makes it okay to write lazily like that! Stop it!

Edward explains how most of his family aside from Alice don’t seem to understand Edward’s attraction to Bella.

Edward shook his head slowly, rolling his eyes toward the ceiling before he met my gaze again. “I told you – you don’t see yourself clearly at all. You’re not like anyone I’ve ever known. You fascinate me.”

Bella, tell me you aren’t falling for this. You know why you fascinate him, right? It’s only because you’re the only person whose mind he can’t read. Otherwise, you’re a completely dull, drab individual, and your blood smells tasty. He isn’t actually interested in you. He’s frustrated that he can’t read your mind, and he likewise also can’t eat you. This isn’t something you want from another person, I promise.

“I have a better than average grasp of human nature. People are predictable. But you… you never do what I expect. You always take me by surprise.”

Duh, that’s because you can’t read her mind! Otherwise, I haven’t seen her do a single surprising thing. She otherwise stays at home, cooks, reads, and trips over her own shoelaces. Has anyone else here seen anything about Bella that’s particularly “surprising”?

Suddenly Rosalie, his blond and breathtaking sister, turned to look at me. No, not to look – to glare, with dark, cold eyes. I wanted to look away, but her gaze held me until Edward broke off mid-sentence and made an angry noise under his breath. It was almost a hiss.

The last sentence there makes me incredibly frustrated that this is a blog and not a video. Otherwise I’d be showing you the huge list of sounds I’m coming up with in my head that are almost, but not exactly, a hiss. Seriously, this could be any number of noises. Is it a heavy breath? Does it include his voice? What kind of a face was being made with it? Was there a lot of teeth, or was his jaw dropped open? What exactly makes it ALMOST a hiss, anyway?

Edward tells Bella that things could be bad if the two of them are public together and then things end badly. That could mean any number of things right now, I’m sure, but basically Bella takes it to heart. Edward introduces Bella to Alice. Then the two vampires leave for the day.

I intuitively knew – and sensed he did, too – that tomorrow would be pivotal. Our relationship couldn’t continue to balance, as it did, on the point of a knife. We would fall off one edge or the other, depending entirely upon his decision, or his instincts. My decision was made, made before I’d ever consciously chosen, and I was committed to seeing it through. Because there was nothing more terrifying to me, more excruciating, than the thought of turning away from him. It was an impossibility.

Wow, you really are a high school teenage girl who has never fallen for anybody before, aren’t you? Here’s a hint – if you two break up, you won’t die. I promise. I know it’ll hurt all bad and stuff, but then later on you’ll be like, “Man, that relationship was dumb.”

Bella starts telling people that not only is she not going to the dance, but she’s not going to be with Edward, either. And neither of them are going out of town anymore. She just keeps lying to people, thinking it’ll make the situation better.

This is where we get to the part where Edward delivered the truck to school. It’s stupid.

When I got home, the handle of the door was locked, the deadbolt unclocked, just as I’d left it this morning. In side, I went straight to the laundry room. It looked just the same as I’d left it, too. I dug for my jeans and, after finding them, checked the pockets. Empty.

DUH, THEY’RE EMPTY! Even if your key was in your pants pocket earlier, it isn’t going to be there now because YOU CURRENTLY ARE HOLDING THE KEY! They left it in the ignition of your car! DON’T BE STUPID!

So now Bella goes around screwing up perfect plans. She tells her dad that she’s just going to stay home rather than going to Seattle. Uh, why would you do that? He obviously seemed cool with you going. What do you need to add another lie on top of that for? You know, the more you change your story around, the more it’s going to sound suspicious. On top of that, you’re going to start forgetting what your lies were. I should know. I’ve made some pretty outlandish, foolish lies in my day.

Several paragraphs go by in which Bella does laundry and thinks about Edward, followed by trying to fall asleep while thinking about Edward. It’s all rather vomit-inducing.

The next day comes. Edward comes to get Bella. Bella drives them in her truck. They go out to a forest. They hike five miles. Bella tells Edward that nobody knows where they are or that they’re together. Edward is pissed. He doesn’t really give a reason. It’s confusing.

He turned then, with a mocking smile, and I stifled a gasp. His white shirt was sleeveless, and he wore it unbuttoned so that the smooth white contours of his chest, his perfect musculature no longer merely hinted at behind concealing clothes. He was too perfect, I realized with a piercing stab of despair. There was no way this godlike creature could be meant for me.

Something about this is really disgusting. Sure, what girl just starting to get a grip on puberty doesn’t want to stop and marvel at a good-looking man every so often? But at the same time, good lord, this book so constantly nearly crosses over into pornographic details, it’s ridiculous. I sometimes wish Meyer would stop every couple of paragraphs and try to write a story somewhere.

For the most part, we walked in silence. Occasionally he would ask a random question that he hadn’t gotten to in the past two days of interrogation. He asked about my birthdays, my grade school teachers, my childhood pets – and I had to admit that after killing three fish in a row, I’d given up on the whole institution.

So, again, only one question about her is answered, and it’s an incredibly boring answer. Did she have any pets prior to the goldfish? Whatever, it doesn’t matter, she’s boring and has never had and will never have any pets ever since or ever again. Lame.

Amazingly, after five miles of hiking, this ridiculously gorgeous meadow pops up in the middle of the freaking Northwestern rain forest. It’s incredibly unrealistic-sounding, but here we go:

I reached the edge of the pool of light and stepped through the last fringe of ferns into the loveliest place I had ever seen. The meadow was small, perfectly round, and filled with wildflowers – violet, yellow, and soft white. Somewhere nearby, I could hear the bubbling music of a stream. The sun was directly overhead, filling the circle with a haze of buttery sunshine. I walked slowly, awestruck, through the soft grass, swaying flowers, and warm, gilded air.

It’s just… I seriously have my doubts. Really? A place that sunny with such strikingly different beauty to that of all of the rest of Western Washington?

Only then did I remember what the beauty of the meadow had driven from my mind – the enigma of Edward and the sun, which he’d promised to illustrate for me today.

Wow! Something actually managed to make Bella forget temporarily about something regarding Edward! There might indeed be hope after all! …Eh, maybe I’d better not get my hopes up.

Edward seemed to take a deep breath, and then he stepped out into the bright glow of the midday sun.

Oh no! The chapter ends here!? What could possibly happen!? Is Edward going to explode into tiny sun-fried bits!? Could the story really be over!?

Well… no. We’re only halfway through the book. And I’m pretty sure you all know what happens next as Edward waltzes into the sunlight. Get ready, folks, because the next chapter is officially Stephenie Meyer’s wet dream. As in, seriously, the next chapter is the dream that Meyer had that spawned the idea to write the entirety of the book. The next chapter is what you’re all waiting to rage over. Be looking forward to Chapter 13, Confessions.

Time to move! Earning more money! Sales for you!

November 12, 2011

Making a few more sales! Almost time for me to move! Most of my boxes have been packed, and since I’m running low on boxes that means I have to get rid of more stuff just to keep it all down! That’s where you guys come in. I’m sorry, International friends, right now it isn’t really feasible for me to ship outside the USA. I’m so sorry! What do I have waiting for you? Well, check this action out:


This is a toy prop from the TV series Power Rangers In Space (known in Japan as Denji Sentai Megaranger). The gun is called the Super Silverizer in Power Rangers In Space and the Silver Blazer in Megaranger. The gun switches between blaster and sword mode. Typically pulling the trigger would set off sound effects from the gun when the power is in the On position, but the batteries are dead, and I admit that I’ve not been able to test this. There’s some minor scuffing to the paint job, but to anybody who is collecting or if you are good with hobby paints, I’m certain this would not be an issue and would be an easy touch-up job. Look at it over here!


This is a copy of X Japan’s 1996 album, DAHLIA. The CD comes complete with disc in box with booklet. CD is scratch free. The album is difficult to obtain now, especially for low prices. Check it out here!


This is a CD/DVD combo set of The Gazette’s 2006 album, NIL (Nameless Liberty Underground). Both the CD and DVD are in good condition, free of scratches. Booklet is included in the unfolding CD case. The case is covered in gold lettering and soft crushed red velvet fabric. There are many other less expensive copies of this same album, but those come with the CD only and do not come in the nice casing that this one comes in. Look at it here!


This is the 1998 CD from rock band Zilch, 321. The CD is in good condition with no scratches. Included is the disc, the box, a dust sleeve, a sheet of stickers, CD booklet, and fold-out poster. One of the four stickers is missing. It’s sitting over here!


This is the official DVD release of the original Kamen Rider (often referred to as Masked Rider) volume 16, episodes, featuring episodes 92 – 98, the final episodes of the original series. The DVD is official, and NOT a Chinese bootleg. It is region 2, not region 0 or region free, which is something many bootleg discs will try to pull. There are no Chinese or English subtitles. Official Japanese DVDs will almost never include foreign subtitles. LEARN TO SPOT BOOTLEGS! Look at this DVD over here!


This is a songbook for X Japan’s 1991 album, Jealousy. Book is in decent condition, with only minor noticeable wear on the edges of the cover and a few very small, minor bends at the corners of a couple pages. Includes band photos and printed signatures. Sheet music includes tabs for multiple guitars, bass, drums, and sheet music for vocals and keyboard. Look at the book here!


This is a songbook from band X Japan’s 1992 Tokyo Dome Live album, On The Verge of Destruction. Sheet music includes tabs for multiple guitars, drums, and score for vocals and keyboard. Book is in decent condition, with a minor crease in the top right-hand corner of the cover, and only slightly worn corners and edges. It’s waiting over here!


This is an official X Japan towel from X Japan’s live Tokyo Dome performances from 2008, Resume Attack 2008 I.V. – Towards Destruction. It is unused and well cared-for. The image above shows a CD next to the towel for size comparison. Check it out here!


This is the February 2008 issue of Fool’s Mate magazine, a Japanese publication featuring prominent Japanese rock musicians. The focus of this particular issue is X Japan and their reunion tours. Look at it here!


This is a collectors’ photo book for the Japanese rock band X (now known as X Japan) by the name of X-ism, published in 1990. Book is in good condition, very little noticeable wear on the edges of the pages and cover, and no bends or tears in the pages. Check it out over here!

That’s all I have for now, but I have lots more stuff coming that I need to eliminate very soon. Or maybe the answer is that I need to purchase more boxes, which I don’t really have the extra cash for. If, and only if, you think any of the work I’ve done has been worth it, I’m still receiving donations up in the top-left-hand corner of this blog. I appreciate your kindness, and I always write back to anyone who contributes anything of any size.

Thank you so much, everyone, for keeping up with me and my work, and thank you for any help you can give while I’m making my final moving preparations. Tonight, if you’ve been missing my Twilight blogs, then I’ll have a treat in store for you later!

Thanks again, all! Be talking with you more soon!

MarzGurl Loves Don Bluth – A Troll in Central Park

October 27, 2011

Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 11

October 22, 2011

11. COMPLICATIONS

Everyone watched us as we walked together to our lab table. I noticed that he no longer angled the chair to sit as far from me as the desk would allow. Instead, he sat quite close beside me, our arms almost touching.

Aww, that’s cute. They can almost show that they like each other. Dah-hurr.

There’s several paragraphs of the two of them in Biology watching a movie and tensely wanting to touch one another but holding themselves back. I’unno, I’m a woman, and I’m into romance to a certain extent, so why does this all just sound so… eww?

Bella goes to gym. She plays tennis with Mike.

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep out of your way.” He grinned. Sometimes it was so easy to like Mike.

“So,” he said as we walked off the court.
“So what?”
“You and Cullen, huh?” he asked, his tone rebellious. My previous feeling of affection disappeared.

You know, Mike is probably the nicest guy thus far presented in this book. And a moment ago, it almost sounded like Bella was actually bothering to give him the time of day. Nope, nevermind. Good one, Meyer! You almost had me going there!

Mike says he doesn’t like that they’re together. Bella doesn’t care. Edward meets Bella after class, who admits he overheard things with Mike via Mike’s thoughts. Bella’s pissed.

He sighed. “Will you forgiveme if I apologize?”
“Maybe… if you mean it. And if you promise not to do it again,” I insisted.
His eyes were suddenly sherwd. “How about if I mean it, and I agree to let you drive Saturday?” he countered my conditions.
I considered, and decided it was probably the best offer I would get. “Deal,” I agreed.
“Then I’m very sorry I upset you.” His eyes burned with sincerity for a protracted moment – playing havoc with the rhythm of my heart – and then turned playful. “And I’ll be on your doorstep bright and early Saturday morning.”

Lesson to be learned, girls: It’s okay to compromise on details like your personal privacy when the man makes short term deals with you. Besides, just how sorry can Edward actually be if he’s planning on checking in on her in that fashion again in the future? If you’re truly sorry, you make attempts to not repeat what upset the person. Doesn’t sound like that’s an option for him, does it? So, that’s right, when the man is pretty and is making other decent deals with you, cave in!

A couple pages go by. Edward finally explains that Bella can’t watch him hunt because the vampires give themselves over to feeding frenzy entirely while hunting, making it dangerous to be in the area. The next day happens. Edward gives her a ride to school again.

A couple more pages pass, and it feels like there’s a pretty largely missed opportunity to learn more about Bella as a character. Instead, what we get is something that feels more fill-in-the-blank, either in an attempt to put the reader in a position where she can see herself identifying as the main character, or because Meyer simply didn’t have the time or the ability to actually flesh out a character with real human interests and back story.

“What’s your favorite color?” he asked, his face grave.
I rolled my eyes. “It changes from day to day.”

“What music is in your CD player right now?” he asked, his face as somber as if he’d asked for a murder confession.
I realized I’d never removed the CD Phil had given me. When I said the name of the band, he smiled crookedly, a peculiar expression in his eyes. …

It continued like that for the rest of the day. While he walked me to English, when he met me after Spanish, all through the lunch hour, he questioned me relentlessly about every insignificant detail of my existence. Movies I’d liked and hated, the few places I’d been and the many places I wanted to go, and books – endlessly books.

What’s your favorite color? Oh, what a coincidence, Bella likes that, too! What’s your favorite band? Hey, what do you know, it’s highly likely that Bella might be interested in that same one! What movies do you like? Where have you been? Where do you want to go? What books do you like to read? Why, it’s possible that you might share those exact same interests with the lead character in Twilight! I mean, we don’t actually know. The name of the CD Bella’s been listening to is never mentioned, and even though Edward is asking Bella all kinds of crazy questions, we never get to hear ANY of the answers. We just know he’s asking her. Can’t you just imagine Edward asking you all these questions? Can you imagine your answers to them?

“What kinds of flowers do you prefer?” he fired off.
I sighed in relief, and continued with the psychoanalysis.

But you don’t actually answer the question for your readers! You ALMOST tell me everything I could ever wish to know about what makes Bella a special, unique young woman, but then you avoid it entirely. I’m almost inclined to believe that she doesn’t even HAVE any interest in anything – colors, flowers, movies, vacation spots, anything. You haven’t actually given me reason to believe otherwise.

A few more pages happen. Biology. Gym. Edward takes Bella back home. They apparently sit in front of her house for hours talking, but all we ever learn about Bella is that she likes different things about Arizona. Duh, we already knew that. Thanks for describing the whole one thing you’re actually interested in yourself, Meyer.

“It’s twilight,” Edward murmured, looking at the western horizon, obscured as it was with clouds.

OH! OH! HE SAID IT!

“It’s the safest time of day for us,” he said, answering the unspoken question in my eyes. “The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way… the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don’t you think?” He smiled wistfully.


(If it isn’t already cued up for you guys, just skip to the 21 second mark.)

Oh no! Charlie’s coming home! Edward tears out of the driveway. But as it turns out, it’s more than just Charlie! Also there was Jacob and his father, Billy.

Billy still stared at me with intense, anxious eyes. I groaned internally. Had Billy recognized Edward so easily? Could he really believe the impossible legends his son had scoffed at?
The answer was clear in Billy’s eyes. Yes. Yes, he could.

And so we end the chapter on the threat that the werewolves are aware of some bad business between a human girl and a vampire boy. And now Bella sees Jacob again for the first time since she used him on the beach! Will there finally be some tension in this novel somewhere? I’ll believe it when I see it, because thus far, I haven’t seen it anywhere.

Next up, chapter 12, Balancing.

Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 10

October 19, 2011

10. INTERROGATIONS

It was very hard, in the morning, to argue with the part of me that was sure last night was a dream. Logic wasn’t on my side, or common sense. I clung to the parts I couldn’t have imagined – like his smell. I was sure I could never have dreamed that up on my own.

Yep, let’s rename this Chapter 10. Obsession.

I swallowed a granola bar in three bites, chased it down with milk straight from the carton, and then hurried out the door.

Listen, book, do you remember what I told you about telling me all of this unimportant garbage? I’ll tell you again – stop it. Nobody cares.

Edward shows up to take Bella to school that day.

I noticed that he wore no jacket himself, just a light gray knit V-neck shirt with long sleeves. Again, the fabric clung to his perfectly muscled chest. It was a colossal tribute to his face that it kept my eyes away from his body.

That’s… kind of disgusting. I half expect this to start moving into trashy romance novel territory.

So much of this chapter is a bunch of flirty back-and-forth between the two, as well as Bella’s dreamy thoughts about Edward’s appearance and smell, and it’s rather disgusting.

“Do my questions bother you?” I asked, relieved.
“Not as much as your reactions do.” He looked like he was joking, but I couldn’t be sure.
I frowned. “Do I react badly?”
“No, that’s the problem. You take everything so coolly – it’s unnatural. It makes me wonder what you’re really thinking.”

Oh, of course. Why WOULDN’T the special little snowflake be taking everything so well? After all, she’s DIFFERENT. SPECIAL. How irritating.

Since Edward was taking Bella to school today, Rosalie and the rest of the Cullens drove up in a red convertible. Apparently they usually wouldn’t take such a flashy car since they usually want to blend in.

“So why did Rosalie drive today if it’s more conspicuous?”
“Hadn’t you noticed? I’m breaking all the rules now.”

And… they were all cool with that? Like, they just said, “Oh, well, she’s special, so we’ll go ahead and all risk getting our cover blown for you”? I happen to know that later on a couple members of the family put great mention into just how dangerous getting involved with her and sharing information with her is, and that’s just her. Now they’re cool driving to school in separate, incredibly obviously costly vehicles? Somehow I have my doubts.

At school. Jessica brings Bella her jacket. She runs off excited. She plans on asking Bella all the juicy details.

“She wants to know if we’re secretly dating. And she want to know how you feel about me,” he finally said.
“Yikes. What should I say?”

“I suppose you could say yes to the first… if you don’t mind – it’s easier than any other explanation.”
“I don’t mind,” I said in a faint voice.

So… does that mean that you are? Or you aren’t? It’s “easier than any other explanation”? Then what’s the real explanation? Is it something different? I mean, I guess you haven’t both specifically said, “I like you” to one another yet. And really, as far as I can tell, Bella is the only one who’s particularly interested in a romantic relationship. Edward just sees her as unique food. …Right? I mean, I guess, eventually, no, he doesn’t. But thus far he’s really only sounded intrigued by her because he can’t read her mind. Otherwise, she’s a bumbling fool always getting into trouble. I mean, okay, let me try and think up some bizarre kind of human equivalent to this…. It’d be like, you like food. Okay, you REALLY like food. But you can only afford certain foods. Other foods are really good and all, like ribs. You’d really like to have some ribs. It seems like everywhere you go, there’s always some place somewhere nearby you that serves ribs. Well, you can’t have them, and you see them so often that eventually you just blow them all off. Then finally you hear about the ONE PLACE ANYWHERE that serves a very special kind of ribs – ribs with powdered Captain Crunch in the rub. But it’s nowhere near you. It’s out of state, and you can’t even reach it. You’re suddenly obsessed with getting hold of these glorious ribs. But you’re not falling in love with the ribs. You want to EAT these AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS-SOUNDING RIBS. Now imagine you’re near those ribs, staring them down. You’re like, “I don’t want to ruin this. These are the ribs I’ve been looking for my entire life. If I eat it, then I’ll know what it’s like to have it, and then I’ll never have that first experience with those ribs ever again. I must protect the ribs.” So you find yourself guarding the restaurant that serves these ribs, day in, day out, making sure nobody robs the place or steals the secret recipe or something crazy like that. That’s when you realize, you don’t just want to taste these delicious ribs. You are in love with them. You are in love with ribs, and you will risk life and limb for their safety and protection.

THAT’S FREAKING RIDICULOUS.

*sigh*

So, in class, Mike seems to now be more concerned about what Jessica thinks about him than what Bella thinks about him. Good. There will now be slightly less drooling over Bella. She later meets up with Jessica and they have some disgusting boy talk.

“So are you going out again?”
“He offered to drive me to Seattle Saturday because he thinks my truck isn’t up to it – does that count?”
“Yes.” She nodded.
“Well, then, yes.”
“W-o-w.” She exaggerated the word into three syllables. “Edward Cullen.”

I’m confused. How does one extend the word “wow”, a single-syllabic word, into three syllables? Does it sound like, “Wa-ao-ou”? Or maybe she just said, “Double-you, oh, double-you”. Oh… no, wait, that can’t be it, that’s, like, seven syllables. Maybe what she REALLY meant is that the “wow” was just really long. Like, “Wooooooooooooooooow.” Well, if that was it, she should have just SAID so.

“He’s so… intimidating. I wouldn’t know what to say to him.” She made a face, probably remembering this morning or last night, when he’d turned the overwhelming force of his eyes on her.
“I do have some trouble with incoherency when I’m around him,” I admitted.
“Oh well. He is unbelievably gorgeous.” Jessica shrugged as if this excused any flaws. Which, in her book, it probably did.

Remember, ladies. Looks matter more than personality flaws. Actually, I can’t tell if Bella is somewhat condescending of this line of thought or not. If she is, then I’m afraid she’s quite a bit hypocritical. Very little of anything Edward has said to her has pissed her off, and none of it has pissed her off so much that it couldn’t be saved by looking at his face and then forgetting whatever it was she was mad about.

“I can’t explain it right… but he’s even more unbelievable behind the face.” The vampire who wanted to be good – who ran around saving people’s lives so he wouldn’t be a monster… I stared toward the front of the room.
“Is that possible?” She giggled.

No. No, it isn’t.

And, anyway, okay, let’s assume it is possible. Alright, fine, Edward’s a total badass because he wants to avoid eating people and likes keeping cute girls from getting raped by bad men. It’s obvious that neither she nor Jessica actually care about anything else that might just be good about him. All Jessica cares about are his looks. And, as I mentioned momentarily ago, Bella forgets all kinds of important things just because she can’t stop looking at him. So… what does the rest of the good stuff even matter, right?

Boy talk continues. Class goes on. Class lets out. Lunch time. Bella sits with Edward.

“I’m curious,” I said as I picked up an apple, turning it around in my hands, “what would you do if someone dared you to eat food?”
“You’re always curious.” He grimaced, shaking his head. He glared at me, holding my eyes as he lifted the slice of pizza off the tray, and deliberately bit off a mouthful, chewed quickly, and then swallowed. I watched, eyes wide.
“If someone dared you to eat dirt, you could, couldn’t you?” he asked condescendingly.

And here’s where the conversation stops, but really, I wanna know more about this part. Like, okay… do these vampires need blood like food? Like, in the same sense we eat food? You know, so that we can digest it, it goes through our digestive system, and then we expel it from our bodies later on down the road? Or does the blood they eat just get burned off, and then they need more? Does it replace the blood already flowing (or not-so-flowing) in their bodies? Like, okay, when Edward eats this pizza, does it burn off? Does it digest? Or… where does it go? ‘Cause, yeah, we COULD just eat dirt if we wanted to. But it would digest and junk, and then we’d get rid of it. Where does that pizza GO!?

Also, I’m imagining Bella’s face right here. Being amazed by a dude eating pizza. I’d bet it looks ridiculous.

A couple more pages of the two talking to one another about one another happens.

“Well, look at me,” I said, unnecessarily as he was already staring. “I’m absolutely ordinary – well, except for bad things like all the near-death experiences and being so clumsy that I’m almost disabled. And look at you.” I waved my hand toward him and all his bewildering perfection.
His brow creased angrily for a moment, then smoothed as his eyes took on a knowing look. “You don’t see yourself very clearly, you know. I’ll admit you’re dead-on about the bad things,” he chuckled blackly, “but you didn’t hear what every human male in this school was thinking on your first day.”
I blinked, astonished. “I don’t believe it…,” I mumbled to myself.
“Trust me just this once – you are the opposite of ordinary.”

Of course. The bland girl is incredibly special and every single male person in all of the whole high school was thinking amazing thoughts about her all day on the day she arrived. Actually, some contributors over at TVTropes sort of do a better job explaining this Mary-Sue-like behavior on a certain level:
If she has any flaws intentionally written in by the creator, expect them to be Informed or not really flaws to begin with. … Clumsiness is a common “flaw”. – Which tends to manifest itself only a few times throughout the entire story, like the author saying, “No, she’s not a Sue. See, she has flaws!”

“Don’t you see? That’s what proves me right. I care the most, because if I can do it” – he shook his head, seeming to struggle with the thought – “if leaving is the right thing to do, then I’ll hurt myself to keep from hurting you, to keep you safe.”
I glared. “And you don’t think I would do the same?”
“You’d never have to make the choice.”

“I care the most!” “No, I care the most!” “No, me!” “No, me!”

In all seriousness, this almost makes it sound like there’s going to be a moment where it will be necessary for Bella to have to leave Edward in order for him to be safe at some point. But thinking back over what I already know from the movies and what else I’ve already read up on the series, this won’t ever happen. You think from this little exchange that there will be a day when Bella actually has to pull herself up by her bootstraps and actually do something meaningful to try and protect their precious relationship, but this never happens. In fact, as far as I understand it, she becomes so incredibly dependent on his being there with her that it’s pretty much dangerous to her health. She sits in her room for months on end when Edward tries to leave her in the next book, has screaming nightmares about him nightly, and then tries to hurt herself so that she can catch glimpses of him during an adrenaline rush. I certainly hope I’m corrected somewhere down the line, but as far as I understand, there will never be a situation where Bella will have to do the “smart thing” and remove herself from the situation. That’s too bad. It might have actually added some depth both to the character and to the story. Oh, well.

The two make plans to hang out in the sun together on Saturday rather than going to either the dance or to Seattle. Oh, goody. Then they start talking about hunting. The family likes killing extreme wild animals both for food and for sport. Emmett apparently likes Grizzly bears. Edward likes mountain lions. That’s cute. It’s way better than the deer you see him hunt at the beginning of the movie adaptation. That may ACTUALLY have been cool to watch play out. Instead, though, we only get to hear him talk about hunting a mountain lion. We don’t actually get to hear about how it works or anything. Boring. Makes me almost not care what animals he eats.

“Is that something I might get to see?”
“Absolutely not!” …
“Too scary for me?” I asked when I could control my voice again.
“If that were it, I would take you out tonight,” he said, his voice cutting. “You need a healthy dose of fear. Nothing could be more beneficial for you.”
“Then why?” I pressed, trying to ignore his angry expression.
He glared at me for a long minute.
“Later,” he finally said. He was on his feet in one little movement. “We’re going to be late.”

Oh, boy! Cliffhangers! No, wait… a cliffhanger would be something I’d be interested in hearing more about, something keeping me on the edge of my seat, wanting to turn the page and continue into the next chapter to find out what the rest of the story is. I don’t get that sensation with this lead-off at all. This is dull.

So much of the conversation was boy talk, and even more of it was pages upon pages of conversation just at lunch alone between Edward and Bella that boils down to little more than, “I love you!” “I love you more!” “No, I love you more!” So, does this count as another chapter where nothing happens? Well, Bella went to school, anyway. She had a class where she and her friend ignored the teacher and talked about boys, so, that’s cool, I guess.

The excitement continues in Biology in the next chapter, chapter 11, Complications.

Moving soon, and I need help! Please buy something?

October 17, 2011

Hello again, all. Like I mentioned the other day, I’m making some sales due to the fact that I will soon be moving out of this apartment into a new one. I NEED to get rid of a bunch of things I don’t need anymore, as well as supporting the sudden large moving cost (and keeping on my own two feet otherwise, too, in the process). Will you take a look at what I’m selling? (Donations appreciated, though I’m trying to do the work myself first.)


A couple of days ago, I showed this boxed set of the first 13 episodes of Dragon Ball released on VHS by FUNimation. You can still take a look at that auction here.


This is a boxed set collection of the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS. Frankly, to any Star Wars fan, this is arguably the best version of the original trilogy available. This was released a few years prior to the Special Editions, which means that there is no additional CG or added scenes. The film was cleaned up from its previous deterioration solely for the release of this boxed set, so it’s the best looking picture available for the original series. It’s true these days that you can find the untouched movies available in the DVD release of the original Star Wars trilogy, however those versions are merely included as a “bonus feature” to satisfy fans of the original. In fact, those versions were lifted from the original laser disc print, which had not yet been cleaned up for release, and had issues with aspect ratio and such. Keeping these things in mind, this is pretty much the BEST release there has ever been of the Star Wars original trilogy. You may wonder, then, why I’m selling it. Well, as it turns out, I actually found myself with two copies of it, and I simply don’t need both.

You’ll notice the condition is pretty awesome. There’s some minor wear around the corners of the main box, but I think most people can overlook it. The proof of purchase is still stuck to the bottom of the box and has not been peeled off. Also, the original inserts for special Star Wars related offers from Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and the FoxVideo Movie Club are still here and intact. Check out this auction here!

The next several things are all kind of a special deal.


I’m selling not one but TWO of these Rock Band guitars, specifically for the Nintendo Wii. I haven’t used them since I started playing my rhythm games on my Xbox 360. They still work fine. They’re not coming with batteries, though. The sales are separate, but if you win both of them, I’m going to combine the shipping for you. Check out the first auction here, and the second auction here.


In that same vein, I’m also selling this Guitar Hero guitar, also for the Nintendo Wii. It requires a Wii Remote to stick into the guitar, and I’m afraid I won’t be supplying that one. As with the two other guitars, if you win this and one of those other auctions, I will combine the shipping. Check it out here.

And finally, in this long string of stuff you can combine, we have two bundled games – Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Rock Band, both for the Nintendo Wii. Both are still in great condition, both still in their cases, and both still with their manuals. If you win this and any of the guitars, I’ll gladly combine the shipping. Take a look at it over here!

As I mentioned in the last post (and briefly earlier in this one), I’ve been asked if I still accept PayPal donations, and yes, I do, though I should hope you can see I’m trying to take care of myself through my work and my sales. But I must admit, the moving thing was fairly sudden and the process has been difficult. So, if you do indeed choose to go the route of donating, by all means, feel free to do so, and I will greatly thank you for your generosity personally. But please only do so if you think that my work has been worth it, like dropping change in a tip jar.

Thank you to all of you who have been with me for any length of time, and thanks for even taking the time to look. Your support and criticism is most welcome every time. If you have any questions or comments I can address, please let me know!

Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 9

October 16, 2011

9. THEORY
A lot of what happens in this chapter lines up with how it’s presented in the movie, it just happens in a different place and at a different time. In the movie, most of this conversation happens quite a bit later, outside, in the forests near Forks High School. This time, it’s all happening in Edward’s car on the way back from Port Angeles.

“Well… you said you knew I hadn’t gone into the bookstore, and that I had gone south. I was just wondering how you knew that.”

“Fine, then. I followed your scent.” He looked at the road, giving me time to compose my face. I couldn’t think of an acceptable response to that, but I filed it carefully away for future study.

You’re reacting quite a bit on the calm side for somebody who not only admitted that he’s been following you, but also admitted that he was following you by smell. That’s pretty much a Let-Me-Out-Of-This-Car-Right-This-Instant moment for me.

“Why do you think you can’t hear me?” I asked curiously.
He looked at me, his eyes enigmatic.
“I don’t know,” he murmured. “The only guess I have is that maybe your mind doesn’t work the same way the rest of theirs do. Like your thoughts are on the AM frequency and I’m only getting FM.” He grinned at me, suddenly amused.
“My mind doesn’t work right? I’m a freak?” The words bothered me more than they should – probably because his speculation hit home. I’d always suspected as much, and it embarrassed me to have it confirmed.

This whole exchange bothers me for a number of reasons. For one, let’s say that Bella’s brain is indeed set to “AM” rather than “FM”. Why the hell is she the only one on that frequency? All you’ve basically done by phrasing it in radio terminology is… well, just that, state the same information in a different way. There’s no special reason why she’s the only person in the world whose brain he can’t hear. The only real answer is because she’s “different”. She’s a complete Mary Sue special little snowflake.

On top of that, there’s a really strange sort of tugging between feeling pity for her and admiring her coming from this book. A common trait in Mary Sue characters will be that they’re so different and so embarrassed by being so different, when in reality it’s nothing they should be embarrassed about at all. By being some kind of a “freak”, which is a word that should have negative connotation, in actuality it’s just another way of identifying Bella as being so different that she’s actually “special”. Even if she’s concerned about why she’s the only one whose thoughts he can’t hear, isn’t there really no downside to that? Doesn’t that make you… kinda awesome, actually? You know what makes this even better? What everybody seems to miss is that this makes their relationship NOT SPECIAL AT ALL. It means that they have to work hard to communicate with one another LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. So, while the book is having you believe that this girl is special, in reality, there’s nothing special happening.

Or, you know, maybe Edward just can’t read Bella’s mind because there’s nothing in her mind to read. Yeah, that’s another likely option, I guess.

Edward is driving crazy fast. It freaks Bella out.

“I’ve never been in an accident, Bella – I’ve never even gotten a ticket.” He grinned and tapped his forehead. “Built-in radar detector.”

Bella tells Edward that she’s been told by Jacob that he’s a vampire, and that she tricked the information out of him.

“Tricked him how?” he asked.
“I tried to flirt – it worked better than I thought it would.” Disbelief colored my tone as I remembered.
“I’d like to have seen that.” He chuckled darkly. “And you accused me of dazzling people – poor Jacob Black.”

Dang. Now even Edward’s a bit critical of your behavior. Good job, Bella.

“I decided it didn’t matter,” I whispered.
“It didn’t matter?” His tone made me look up – I had finally broken through his carefully composed mask. His face was incredulous, with just a hint of the anger I’d feared.
“No,” I said softly. “It doesn’t matter to me what you are.”
A hard, mocking edge entered his voice. “You don’t care if I’m a monster? If I’m not human?”
“No.”
He was silent, staring straight ahead again. His face was bleak and cold.
“You’re angry,” I sighed. “I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“No,” he said, but his tone was as hard as his face. “I’d rather know what you’re thinking – even if what you’re thinking is insane.”
“So I’m wrong again?” I challenged.
“That’s not what I was referring to. ‘It doesn’t matter’!” he quoted, gritting his teeth together.
“I’m right?” I gasped.
“Does it matter?”

Hey, asshole, she just told you THREE TIMES that it doesn’t matter. Now she’s gonna tell you a FOURTH time. For a guy who hears a bunch of things, he sure doesn’t LISTEN.

“Don’t laugh – but how can you come out during the daytime?”
He laughed anyway. “Myth.”
“Burned by the sun?”
“Myth.”
“Sleeping in coffins?”
“Myth.” He hesitated for a moment, and a peculiar tone entered his voice. “I can’t sleep.”
It took me a minute to absorb that. “At all?”
“Never,” he said, his voice nearly inaudible. He turned to look at me with a wistful expression.

Wistful expression? What… why? Do you… do you WISH you could sleep? Do you WANT to sleep? Are you, like, constantly tired or something? Is it something you frequently long for but can never have? I wish Meyer would elaborate on that. That’s the most interesting thing that’s been written about, and yet I get NOTHING about it. Just more of Bella being totally entranced by Edward’s pretty eyes.

Edward explains that he and his family eat animals instead of people because they don’t actually want to be monsters.

“I can’t be sure, of course, but I’d compare it to living on tofu and soy milk; we call ourselves vegetarians, our little inside joke. It doesn’t completely satiate the hunger – or rather thirst. But it keeps us strong enough to resist. Most of the time.”

Huh… well… why don’t you just order a bunch of raw steaks, then? At least then you’d be able to actually eat in public.

Bella admits that she worries about him like he worries about her.

“Ah,” he groaned quietly. “This is wrong.”
I couldn’t understand his respones. “What did I say?”
“Don’t you see, Bella? It’s one thing for me to make myself miserable, but a wholly other thing for you to be so involved.” He turned his anguished eyes to the road, his words flowing almost too fast for me to understand. “I don’t want to hear that you feel that way.” His voice was low but urgent. His words cut me. “It’s wrong. It’s not safe. I’m dangerous, Bella – please grasp that.”
“No.” I tried very hard not to look like a sulky child.
“I’m serious,” he growled.
“So am I. I told you, it doesn’t matter what you are. It’s too late.”
His voice whipped out, low and harsh. “Never say that.”

Oh, I would LOVE it if this meant that Edward was just going to drop her and we could get this novel over with.

…Oh. There’s still fifteen more chapters.

Oh…

Edward drops Bella off at home. He makes her promise not to go into the woods alone ’cause dangerous stuff is there. Okay, cool, that means she’s gonna end up there eventually. I love transparent story telling.

“Sleep well,” he said. His breath blew in my face, stunning me. It was the same exquisite scent that clung to his jacket, but in a more concentrated form.

Oh, eww. What does that even mean? A more concentrated form? Yuck. Also, his jacket smells like his breath? What, does he breathe all over his jacket heavily? Pardon me for getting a little TMI, but my breath totally smells nothing like my neck, back, and armpits. And for a guy who eats raw animals, I doubt his breath could possibly smell that good.

Bella goes to bed kinda early. But she leaves us with this lovely nugget of information.

About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was part of him – and I didn’t know how potent that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

NO.
NO, NO, NO.

Ugh… you aren’t taking that back, are you?

Tell me you guys see what I see. A seventeen-year-old girl who has never had a boyfriend before, let alone been in love, is suddenly terribly, deathly in love with a vampire she knows very little about. Oh, but she thinks he’s gorgeous and smells awesome. That’s love, right?

Let me tell you something, young girls. If this is what you think love is, you’re terribly, horribly, ATROCIOUSLY way off the mark. Now, some of you out there may not actually believe in true love. Some of you may be of the mind that it’s all a chemical thing, that there’s really nothing else to it, and that you can really recreate it scientifically. Okay, fine, I actually believe otherwise after many years of going through things I thought were love and finding out they were nothing in comparison to what love really is. And let me tell you something – When you find out what it REALLY is, you’re gonna realize that it’s NOTHING like what Bella’s feeling right now. It goes so far beyond being physically attracted to a person (though there’s nothing wrong with being physically attracted to the person you love), and it’s something that builds with time and experiences together, something that makes you realize that you see something in the other person that you want for yourself and the other person wants the same. It’s something that makes you want to be a better person, not just for the sake of throwing yourself at the other person, but realizing you want to do it for yourself, too. It’s something that makes you realize that together you can both be stronger, better people. And, quite frankly, I don’t see a shred of evidence that makes me believe that ANY of these things exist within the so-called “love” that Bella feels for Edward. And honestly, this is dangerous. If teenagers are learning that this is the way love works then prepare for an entire generation of battered housewives.

I’m honestly sickened and appalled.

But we’re nowhere near done.

Next up is Chapter 10, Interrogations.

Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 8

October 15, 2011

8. PORT ANGELES


Since this blog has been talking a lot about self insertion, I’m gonna do a little bit of my own. This huge standee for Breaking Dawn Part 1 can now be seen in several movie theaters. I got a glimpse of it last night when going to see The Thing. I knew there was just one thing I could do. Hate it.

So, as the name of the chapter insinuates, this is a chapter about the girls going to Port Angeles.

We listened to whiny rock songs while Jessica jabbered on about the boys we hung out with.

Oh, she must be referring to the whiny rock playlist that Stephenie Meyer has stated she listened to while both writing and reading the novel.

The girls go shopping for dresses. They talk about Bella’s previous love life.

“I’ve never had a boyfriend or anything close. I didn’t go out much.”
“Why not?” Jessica demanded.
“No one asked me,” I answered honestly.
She looked skeptical. “People ask you out here,” she reminded me, “and you tell them no.”

Yeah! I mean, really! What’s up with that, huh!? So, are we gonna get a further explanation for that now that it’s been brought up?

…no?
…Oh. Okay. Forget I wondered anything about it, then.

Instead, we learn that Tyler has been running around saying that he’s going to be taking Bella to the prom. Wait, what? Oh, yeah! Back in chapter 4 when Bella turned down Tyler for the dance he said to her, “That’s cool. We still have prom.” She had said nothing at the time, so I guess he took that as acceptance or something…? Anyway, Bella is furious, and this is why Lauren was pissed with her a couple of chapters back ’cause she has the hots for Tyler or something. Ugh, this teenage girl gossip is something I grew out of a long time ago, so this is just a complaint from a 25-year-old woman, but it’s definitely not written for my demographic. Not missing this garbage.

“Is it normal for the… Cullens” – I kept my eyes on the shoes – “to be out of school a lot?” I failed miserably in my attempt to sound nonchalant.
“Yes, when the weather is good they go backpacking all the time – even the doctor. They’re all real outdoorsy,” she told me quietly, examining her shoes, too.

I’m glad we got more of Bella’s obsession with Edward in on this trip that has nothing to do with Edward. Anyway, that just sort of supports the fact that the Cullens never show up in public when it’s sunny. But it isn’t elaborated on here. It drops immediately. I’m not really sure why some things are even brought up at all if they aren’t going to be addressed.

Bella decides she wants to look for a bookstore and meet up with the other two girls later for dinner. There’s several pages later where the following events happen – she looks unsuccessfully for said bookstore, she sees some shady men walking through the streets, she walks away from them, she gets lost, she tries to find her way back to the dress shop, she gets cornered by the guys again.

That’s when a car pulls up to save the day.

“Get in,” a furious voice commanded.
It was amazing how instantaneously the choking fear vanished, amazing how suddenly the feeling of security washed over me – even before I was off the street – as soon as I heard his voice.

Turns out, it’s Edward. Rather than being freaked out that he’s right here, in a town an hour away from Forks, she’s comforted. The first thing she asks him?

“Are you okay?” I asked, surprised at how hoarse my voice sounded.

Are you okay…? Sure, he’s okay (though he says he isn’t in the next line), why wouldn’t he be? HE’S the one who just saved YOU. And really… Are you okay? No, “What are you doing here”? ‘Cause I know that would be MY first question to someone I hadn’t seen in days and then is suddenly right where I am right when I needed saving.

But, no, Edward’s not okay, ’cause he wants to go back and do bad things to those bad boys down in the alley.

“What’s wrong?” My voice came out in a whisper.
“Sometimes I have a problem with my temper, Bella.” He was whispering, too, and as he stared out the window, his eyes narrowed into slits. “But it wouldn’t be helpful for me to turn around and hut down those…” He didn’t finish his sentence, looking away, struggling for a moment to control his anger again. “At least,” he continued, “that’s what I’m trying to convince myself.”

Red flags! Very, very big red flags! A man with anger management issues? No, not cool. Get outta there, and get outta there now!

But she doesn’t. Of course. Because she senses he’s good or something. I dunno, it’s stupid.

Edward takes Bella to the restaurant where Jess and Angela had waited for their friend. The restaurant just happens to be called La Bella Italia. Of course. The character is so Mary Sue that she has to eat at a restaurant named after herself. The girls go home, leaving Edward and Bella to eat and talk alone.

The host was female, and I understood the look in her eyes as she assessed Edward. She welcomed him a little more warmly than necessary. I was surprised by how much that bothered me.

And you should be. It’s obvious Edward has only had eyes for you, so don’t go getting offended at some bimbo who he’s probably not even going to acknowledge. And anyway, you two aren’t even, like, a thing, so knock it off.

Bella drinks a Coke. She gets cold. Edward gives her his jacket that he’s wearing. It’s cold. OMG, HARD EVIDENCE HE’S A VAMPIRE!

“Really, I’m not going into shock,” I protested.
“You really should be – a normal person would be. You don’t even look shaken.” He seemed unsettled. He stared into my eyes, and I saw how light his eyes were, lighter than I’d ever seen them, golden butterscotch.
“I feel very safe with you,” I confessed, mesmerized into telling the truth again.

What an amazingly special little snowflake. She’s not shaken by the near assault from multiple men, and she’s not shaken from the fact that Edward has the amazing supernatural ability of Super Stalking.

He admits to following her to Port Angeles. He admits that he was keeping tabs on her friends, and then when Bella split apart from her friends he went searching through other people’s heads to see if he could get a trace of where she was. He’s sitting there admitting that he can read minds and he followed her. And Bella feels remarkably calm and safe. That seems awfully backward to me, but whatever.

They leave the restaurant. They get into the car and drive off and keep talking. End of chapter.

Huh. Okay.

There’s a lot of demonstration that Bella just does what she’s told by Edward for no particular reason. He demands she gets in his car, even when it’s strange that he’s even there, and she does it. He demands she puts on a seatbelt, and she does it. He demands that she eats, even when she says she isn’t hungry, and she does it. She starts to find herself admitting out loud that she’s dazzled by Edward, when she’d never admit something like that out loud to even herself. Edward is showing signs of violence and obsession, yet Bella feels safe and does anything Edward asks just because he’s the one asking.

Really, it feels like Bella is being manipulated into enjoying this relationship. If it really works the way the book appears to make you think it works, it’s that Edward and the other vampires are so gorgeous and perfect that everything about them draws you in. Edward gets exactly what he wants, and Bella doesn’t even have a clue that she’s being manipulated by his supernatural beauty and creepiness. It’s quite sickening, really.

The conversation between Bella and Edward continues in the next chapter, Chapter 9, Theory.

New eBay Listing Dragon Ball on VHS!

October 15, 2011

It’s that time again, time to make some more sales. I’m moving from one apartment to another pretty soon, and not only do I need the cash for the assistance in moving, but I also need to get rid of things to lighten the load. So, here’s just one listing I’ve posted for starters.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290620610215

So, this is a boxed set of the first 13 episodes of Dragon Ball released in the US under FUNimation, released as The Saga of Goku. It also includes the first Dragon Ball movie, Curse of the Blood Rubies (otherwise known in Japanese as The Legend of Shenlong). It’s still in quite good condition, with just a little bit of wear on some of the corners of the boxes. Otherwise, it’s a really cool collection that’s still in great condition. I actually really wish I could keep it, but frankly, I both need the money and need to eliminate a bunch of things I own, and I’m sure somebody else out there has more use for it than I do.

Sorry to anybody outside the US, but it’s just really not feasible for me to ship internationally at this point in time. Also, if any of you are buying this because it’s from me and you want something like a signature or some such, just let me know once you win and I’ll hook you up.

I had some people recently ask if I’m still accepting PayPal donations. I am, yes, and you can see the button up in the top right-hand corner of the page, but I’m trying not to make that anything similar to a source of income. If you want to use that as a kind of a tip jar, that’s very generous of you, and I’ll personally be giving you my thanks for your kindness, but it isn’t how I’m planning on making my living.

I’ll be making some more listings very soon. Please keep an eye out on this blog if you’re interested in any other nerdy things I’m gonna be getting rid of this week.

Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 7

October 14, 2011

7. NIGHTMARE
I can’t believe just how dull this chapter is. I honestly cannot believe it. See, I always assumed that Twilight wasn’t particularly great reading, and that it must be filled with disgusting romance tripe, but there’s just so much going on in certain places that doesn’t even require the its given. Let me give you one early paragraph in this chapter as an example.

Once in my room, I locked the door. I dug through my desk until I found my old headphones, and I plugged them into my little CD player. I picked up a CD that Phil had given to me for Christmas. It was one of his favorite bands, but they used a little too much bass and shrieking for my tastes. I popped it into place and lay down on my bed. I put on the headphones, hit Play, and turned up the volume until it hurt my ears. I closed my eyes, but the light still intruded, so I added a pillow over the top half of my face.

I sat down at my computer desk. It was covered in tons of knick-knacks, figurines, recent papers, and a little garbage. To the side of my computer sat the novel Twilight. I picked up the book in my right hand, and with my left hand I peeled back the cover and began flipping through pages. I turned to page 129 and proceeded reading chapter 7. It was a very boring read, and one that I would describe later in great detail on my blog, which resides on the Internet.

The pages upon pages of paragraphs upon paragraphs go on and on like this. It’s awful. Very little story progression actually occurs in this chapter, and frankly, it’s embarrassing. It should be embarrassing to anyone who fancies themselves a writer, just as it should be embarrassing to anyone who fancies themselves a reader. Come to think of it, I guess in a way, I’m embarrassed.

Bella falls asleep after listening to this CD no less than three times in a row. That’s, what, like two and a half hours of listening to this one CD and doing nothing else? Doesn’t this girl ever DO anything? Anyway, she describes this dream in which she sees both Jacob and Edward, and hears Mark’s voice somewhere in the background, too. Mmm, men. Lots and lots of men.

And then Edward stepped out from the trees, his skin faintly glowing, his eyes black and dangerous

You know, this is the second time Bella’s had a dream that’s involved Edward and his shiny skin. Okay, let’s say that Bella now both knows and believes Edward to be a vampire. She STILL doesn’t know that his skin is shiny. Where is she getting this mental image from?

My modem was sadly outdated, my free service substandard; just dialing up took so long that I decided to go get myself a bowl of cereal while I waited.
I ate slowly, chewing each bite with care. When I was done, I washed the bowl and spoon, dried them, and put them away.

I’m so glad I read about the mundane act of eating cereal and then washing the bowl and silverware used to feed her, aren’t you!?

With another sigh, I turned to my computer. Naturally, the screen was covered in pop-up ads.

Naturally? You sure don’t take very good care of your computer, do you? And just what web sites have you been browsing to get you that many?

I shot down a few more pop-ups and then typed in one word.
Vampire.

You SHOULD be typing in the word antivirus.

I waited impatiently for it to load, quickly clicking closed each ad that flashed across the screen.

IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR YOU TO ATTEMPT TO USE TECHNOLOGY! DONATE YOUR COMPUTER TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO SAFELY USE IT!

Alright, let’s see what Bella finds out about vampires… something about some Filipino vampire known as the Danag. Huh… Danag… Let me Google that for you. Nope, this thing isn’t real. Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t some kind of Filipino vampires, or something like vampires, but nothing by the name of Danag. Even native Filipinos seem to have never heard of this thing.

As she describes her vampire research, it almost sounds as if I were listening to an actual account of what Stephenie Meyer did when pretending to do actual research on vampires.

I read carefully through the descriptions, looking for anything that sounded familiar, let alone plausible. …There wasn’t much that sounded like the movies I’d seen, and only a very few, like the Hebrew Estrie and the Polish Upier, who were even preoccupied with drinking blood.
Only three entries really caught my attention:

And that’s all I need to hear. It’s like Meyer was looking for entries on vampires and was hoping to find something she was already familiar with, and by familiar with I mean something that looked like the pop-culture children’s Halloween costume located down the seasonal aisle at Wal-Mart, and she only paid attention to the three entries that kind of matched up with that.

The three kinds of potential vampires Bella finds are… somewhat vague. There’s Varacolaci, which, when I personally search for it, I find a completely different spelling, with little true folklore information, though it does exist. Then there’s the Nelapsi, also found with very little folklore behind it. And then there’s the third one, completely and utterly made up for the sake of this book.

Stregoni benefici: An Italian vampire, said to be on the side of goodness, and a mortal enemy of all evil vampires.

PFFT! HAHAHA! What silly wording! A good vampire! Battling on the side of goodness against the big bad evil vampires! BWAHAHA! Sure, there have been vampire characters who fight other vampires before in the past. But the phrasing in this book is so shallow and immature. Like, “No, my boyfriend isn’t one of those BAD vampires, he’s the good kind!” You keep telling yourself that, honey.

And then another problem, one that I’d remembered from the small number of scary movies that I’d seen and was backed up by today’s reading – vampires couldn’t come out in the daytime, the sun would burn them to cinder. They slept in coffins all day and came out only at night.

Oh. So you DO have a vague idea as to how this whole thing works. Okay. So, then, why did you need to do this research? I don’t get it. What was the point of this again?

The next couple of pages involve Bella walking outside and talking to herself in her head about how much she’s dwelling on the fact that Edward is something other than a human. Trust me, it’s all quite boring.

Now that I knew – if I knew – I could do nothing about my frightening secret. Because when I thought of him, of his voice, his hypnotic eyes, the magnetic force of his personality, I wanted nothing more than to be with him right now. Even if… but I couldn’t think it. Not here, alone in the darkening forest. Not while the rain made it dim as twilight under the canopy and pattered like footsteps across the matted earthen floor.

AH! TWILIGHT! SHE SAID IT!

She talks about walking home. She talks about doing homework. She talks about eating breakfast the next morning. She talks about how she gets Mike to realize that Jessica really likes him. She talks about how the girls happily invite her to go dress shopping in Port Angeles in a couple days. She talks about how she’s disappointed that Edward isn’t at school. She talks about cooking dinner for her dad. She talks about E-mailing her mom to keep her calm… Good lord, this is so boring! NOTHING IS HAPPENING!

I decided to kill an hour with non-school-related reading. I had a small collection of books that came with me to Forks, the shabbiest volume being a compilation of the works of Jane Austen. I selected that one and headed to the backyard, grabbing a ragged old quilt from the linen cupboard at the top of the stairs on my way down.

I lay on my stomach, crossing my ankles in the air, flipping through the different novels in the book, trying to decide which would occupy my mind the most thoroughly. My favorites were Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

MOST BLAND HEROINE EVER! Oh, and should I be surprised that Stephenie Meyer took personal inspiration from Pride and Prejudice?

I’d read the first most recently, so I started into Sense and Sensibility, only to remember after I began chapter three that the hero of the story happened to be named Edward.

Oh, is THAT where you lifted your literary work from?

Bella falls asleep in the backyard. Bella wakes up. Bella watches TV with her dad. Bella prepares lunch meat for her dad. Bella goes to sleep. Bella wakes up. Bella goes to school. Bella doesn’t see Edward. Bella meets up with the other girls to go to Port Angeles.

And… that’s it. Nothing happened in this chapter. NOTHING HAPPENED! This also makes two chapters in a row in which Edward doesn’t show up at all. And yet Bella is completely obsessed with his existence, despite her never seeing him. This is ridiculous. I’m pretty positive we could have cut out this chapter entirely. We could have just been told in the next chapter that Bella was concerned that Edward was a vampire, and then skip straight to her getting together with her friends on an escape to Port Angeles. Why was any of the rest of this necessary?

Short answer: It wasn’t.

Next chapter, chapter 8, Port Angeles.